Life, Death and Insulin


As the cost of the lifesaving medication skyrockets, some desperate diabetics are rationing — and risking their lives. Was Alec Raeshawn Smith one of them?


I think they did a good job with this article. it’s very well-rounded and presents the situation more realistically than some of the other articles I’ve read about the issue. They included a paragraph about NPH and R too.

“A pharmacist and a number of physicians told me about older insulins available from Walmart. The type of insulin first came out in the 1980s and now costs about $25 per vial. So-called “Walmart insulin” is a controversial solution for Type 1 diabetics, many of whom believe that older formulas are more likely to lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. A few doctors echoed that concern. Yet it could still save lives. “It’s very good insulin,” one physician told me. Another said, “It’s obviously better than nothing.” Researchers have found that these older insulins work just as well for Type 2 diabetics as pricier analog insulins, but some research shows a slightly better outcome for Type 1 diabetics on newer formulas.”

I also thought this quote described the desperation well:

“Several people, including Fenner, described insulin as being like oxygen: Scavenging for it invokes a primal fear, like the gasp you make just before you run out of air.”

That quote caught my attention, too. I think it’s why I and other people with diabetes make efforts to set aside a surplus of insulin to cover supply interruptions. It is a primal fear.

Exactly right. I have a bunch of vials of Novolog in my fridge and now I’ve switched to Fiasp I’m starting to hoard that. But get rid of the Novolog? No way! I was actually able to help out a friend who’s in the so-called “donut hole” with a months’ supply, thanks to my hoarding.

About a year ago, my son lost his insurance for a few months and resorted to buying his insulin from an elderly couple off of Craig’s list.

I just bought a box of five Guardian sensors off of e-bay for $230 instead of $350 from Medtronic.